Original Date: 02/10/2003
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
A city founded at the mouth of the Mobile River on the central Gulf of Mexico, Mobile, Alabama, has a rich maritime heritage and has prospered through three centuries as both a river and a deepwater port. It was here that, in 1919, the Bender Shipbuilding and Repair Company, Inc. was first established building fishing vessels. Today Bender is also a major supplier of vessels for the offshore oil and gas industry. The company has built drill rigs for export and spill recovery vessels for a national oil spill response fleet.
Over the years, the company has cultivated contacts in the marine finance community, both private and government, developing an expertise with which to assist customers in obtaining financing for their vessels. It has become a medium-sized company with 650 employees, achieving $150 million in projects per year. Its facilities have more than 7,000 feet of deep water frontage accessed by a 42-foot deep channel from the Gulf of Mexico. Within these facilities, Bender holds the Cutting Edge Metal Processing Facility, which is the most efficient and technologically advanced steel plate processing facility in the U.S. shipbuilding industry. This shop conducts material preparation and priming, shapes processing, high accuracy computer numerical control laser cutting, and numerical control forming. Bender measures its worth by one standard: to provide quality marine products and services at competitive prices, on time, safely, and for a profit.
Bender has produced effective engineering and production processes for the shipbuilding industry. First, Bender excels in engineering by using the most up-to-date computer programs and a tailored software suite. For every ship built, Bender’s highly qualified designers and engineers create a three-dimensional master model. This model is used to make decisions on dividing the ship into specific units as part of a tailored build strategy for each vessel. Bender believes this strategy is essential to the success in every effort. All company disciplines craft it and have a stake in its success. Second, Bender excels in production by using the tailored product and the building strategy to work closely with planning and field engineers to prepare the building schedule from which detailed work packages for the modules are created. These engineering and production processes save time and money in purchasing, design and engineering, manufacturing, and assembly.
With more than 800 Bender-built ships currently operating worldwide, the company continues to improve its commitment to quality. Among the best practices documented by the Best Manufacturing Practices survey team were lofting and integration with steel processing; advanced steel joining processes; form versus weld; laser assisted oxygen cutting; laser cutting and cutting edge metal processing; and planning, scheduling, and kitting.
Bender has many goals for the future. For more than 70 years, it has been known throughout the world for solidly built vessels delivered on-time at a competitive price. The company is committed to continuing its policy of excellence through continuous improvement to provide quality marine products that meet or exceed customers’ requirements. The BMP survey team considers the practices in this report to be among the best in industry and government.
TABLE OF ACRONYMS:
The following acronyms were used in this report:
|ADEM|| ||Alabama Department of Environmental Management|
|AWS|| ||American Welding Society|
|BOM|| ||Bill of Material|
|CNC|| ||Computer Numerical Control|
|CWI|| ||Certified Welding Inspector|
|CWS|| ||Certified Welding Supervisor|
|FCAW|| ||Flux Cored Arc Welding|
|IS|| ||Information Systems|
|IT|| ||Information Technology|
|KBSI|| ||Knowledge Based Systems, Inc.|
|KMS|| ||Key Materials Spreadsheet|
|LAN|| ||Local Area Network|
|LASOX|| ||Laser Assisted Oxygen Cutting|
|MIDAPS|| ||Materials Identification and Procurement System|
|NC|| ||Numerical Control|
|R&D|| ||Research and Development|
|SAW|| ||Submerged Arc Welding|
|SEA|| ||Significant Environmental Aspect|
|STT|| ||Surface Tension Transfer|
|WPS|| ||Welding Procedure Specification|
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Point of Contact for this survey.